Animal use confers an ethical responsibility to ensure animal welfare; improvements in farm animal health and welfare can improve productivity and food safety, and hence lead to economic benefits. There is an important relationship between animal health and welfare and the use of animals in agriculture also contributes to human well-being. In line with Office International des Épizooties (OIE; the World Organisation for Animal Health) guidance on animal health and welfare, including the five freedoms1, this principle and accompanying criteria set expectations for the treatment of cattle throughout the value chain. Continuous improvement is key, consistent with the fact that some regional guidelines exceed OIE. An underlying assumption is that there is compliance with national and international regulations on animal health and welfare.
1 OIE. 2010. “Terrestrial Health Code: Chapter 7.1 Introduction to the Recommendations for Animal Welfare. http://web.oie.int/eng/normes/mcode/en_chapitre_1.7.1.htm
2 A stockman with sufficient experience or training, not necessarily a veterinarian.
3 OIE. 2010. “Terrestrial Health Code: Chapter 7.2 Transport of Animals by Sea. http://www.oie.int/index.php?id=169&L=0&htm-file=chapitre_aw_sea_transpt.htm
4 OIE. 2010. “Terrestrial Health Code: Chapter 7.5 Slaughter of Animals. http://www.oie.int/index.php?id=169&L=0&htm-file=chapitre_aw_slaughter.htm